The Old Guard Vol. 1 May Not Be Old Enough

Five people are unable to have their greatest wish granted, the sweet embrace of death, in The Old Guard Vol. 1.

Andy, Nicky, Joe and Booker have been alive for some thousands of years and others only hundreds.  They are unable to die.  A sword through the chest or bullet to the brain is just a minor annoyance to them.

They take this ability and use it to do mercenary for hire work.  One day a former client, Copley, finds them again and asks them to do a job for him.  While clearing out the hostile facility they are double-crossed by Copley and are recorded on video.  Their secret is now out in the world and they need to stop it before word spreads everywhere, find Copley and get answers.

While on the run the group has a dream about a new unkillable person like themselves, Nile.  Andy goes out to find her and recruit Nile to their special little team.  When they return Booker is shot in the head and Nicky and Joe are missing.

Nile helps Booker and Andy find their missing teammates and ask why Copley took them.

This story had some real complicated lore to it and I loved it.  An example is the group is not actually immortal, but can in fact die.  However, they can only die in certain ways.  A former member fell off a boat and another had a huge hole blown through his chest.

They don’t really know why they can’t die and don’t know what can kill them.  Every day they wish for death.  It is why they take such dangerous work.  Each member has seen people they love grow old and die.  Their loved ones resenting them because they will not share their “gift.”  It was really sad hearing about how their loved ones wither and die.

I loved the concept, but I didn’t like the execution.  This comic has these badass unkillable people, but they do very little badass things.  I wanted to see them go against whole armies and come out the other end.  They have cool swords and axes, but only use them once.

The time period of the story I don’t think really works.  It is set in the modern times, but may work better set in the past when hand-to-hand combat was the norm.  A epic story about traveling across the world and hacking-and-slashing everyone in their way would be great for the premise.

The story was kinda predictable.  I knew about the big twist very early on in the comic.  The story was needlessly complicated in some parts, but not complicated enough in other parts.

I had a lot of problems with the character design.  A lot of the characters had almost the same face.  At times their faces would be distinct and other times they would all have the same generic face.  It became very hard to know who was who and to make it worse the names where gender ambiguous.  I was not able to see a woman and know who that was by their female name.

There are two women in the comic, Nile and Andy.  I kept thinking Andy was Nicky because that sounded like the female name.  A name is not the most important thing, but it is an obstacle I have to pass in order to enjoy the story.  I am in favor of less obstacles and more enjoyment of the story.

This story was so close to being great.  It had all the elements it needed to be great for me, but was unable to fully use them.  

Rating:

 

 

 

 

Written by: Greg Rucka

Art by:  Leandro Fernandez and Daniela Miwa

Cover by:   Leandro Fernandez

Release: 8/30/2017

Volume: 1

Publisher: Image Comics

 

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